Monthly Archives: July 2019

Helping to Close the 30 Million Word Gap

Reposted from Library Research Service

A study recently published by Ohio State University researchers in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that young children whose parents frequently read to them could enter kindergarten having heard an estimated 1.4 million more words than children who were rarely or never read to. The researchers propose that more book reading sessions with young children is one way to address the 30 million word gap.

The researchers worked with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to identify the 100 most circulated books for babies and young children, which the researchers used to determine an average of how many words were found in each book. They found that board books intended for babies contain an average of 140 words and children’s picture books contain an average of 228 words.

Based on these estimates, children whose parents read to them once every other month would hear 4,662 words from books by age 5. One to 2 reading sessions per week lead to children hearing 63,570 words; 3-5 sessions per week, 169,520 words; daily, 296,660 words; and five books a day, 1,483,300 words. The estimated word gap from reading sessions is different from the conversational word gap mentioned above because reading books can expose children to words and topics that do not typically come up in daily conversation.

The full article can be found here, but is behind a paywall. A more in depth summary of the article can be found here.

Note: This post is part of the series, “The LRS Number.” This series highlights statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.


Free Library Continuing Education Events for August

site logoThe August 2019 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 63 webinars, one mini-conference, and four recordings to watch “At Your Leisure.” Every training opportunity on this list is free and offered online. Topics include advocacy, planning, careers, children and teens, collection development, communication, databases, managing change, fundraising, legal, management, outreach and partnerships, programming, readers’ advisory, reference, school libraries, technology, training and instruction, and volunteers.

View, download, or subscribe to the calendar at

McMurry Grants at the WYCF

Today, July 30, the Wyoming Community Foundation marks its 30th birthday. They are holding celebrations to honor three decades of building a better Wyoming.

One of the funds established within the WYCF is the Carol McMurry Library Endowment, which provides support to Wyoming library staff and volunteers and to publicly accessible Wyoming libraries in three areas:

  1. Education & Training (Library and Individual);
  2. Library Resources;
  3. Library Foundation Development.

The Carol McMurry Library Endowment was established in 2000 and has supported numerous library projects and individual continuing education opportunities in its years of existence. Although founder Carol McMurry passed away recently, her legacy lives on in her generous support of Wyoming libraries and the people who work in or volunteer with them.

Questions about library and individual grants through the Carol McMurry Library Endowment may be directed to Wyoming State Library Library Development Manager Brian Greene at or (307) 777-6339.


WLLI Graduate Institute Held

Participants at this year’s WLLI grad institute.

Wyoming Library Leadership Institute graduates attended the first-ever Graduate Institute on July 19-20 in Gillette, Wyoming. It was a time for them to reignite and increase their passion for leadership and collaborate with other grads to create the WLLI Future Plan. Jep Enck, Enck Resources, led the group through the planning process.

We had an amazing time in Gillette and a lot was accomplished! -Thomas ivie

The first day was about the individual and the second day about the institute. Jep Enck led the group in a discussion about individual leadership skills. He offered several resources for further exploration on a variety of leadership topics. On Saturday, the graduates compiled the information from their Strategic Implementation Plans and broke into four groups based on the priorities they see for WLLI’s future: Mission, Communication, Regional Awareness, and Finance. Each priority now has a committee with a point person and a plan for the near future.

It’s exciting to see the growth of the institute, the collaboration and the creation of community.

This year’s participants were:

  • Devin Hodgins – Crest Hill Elementary, Library Media Tech in Casper (2018)
  • Chris Van Burgh – Wyoming State Library, Database Instruction Librarian (2001-2019)
  • Thomas Ivie – Wyoming State Library, Research & Statistics Librarian (2018)
  • Rachael Svoboda – Laramie County Library System, Business Services Coordinator (2018)
  • Karen Kitchens – Wyoming State Library, State Publications Librarian (2005)
  • Tekla Slider – Wyoming State Library, Federal Documents Librarian (2015)
  • Elaine Hayes – Laramie County Library System, Assistant Manager, Reference Services/Special Collections Librarian (2004)
  • Cindy Moore – Converse County Library, Director (2006)
  • Jennifer Kofoed – Converse County Library, Circulation/ILL Manager (2018)
  • Mary Borthwick – Campbell County School District 1, Library Media Specialist (2008)
  • Becky Prelle – Campbell County Public Library System, Youth Services Coordinator (2018)
  • Sara Kuhbacher-Rosier – Campbell County Public Library System, Tech Services Specialist (2013)
  • Genevieve Schlekeway – Campbell County Public Library System, Public Information Specialist (2004)
  • Megan Dingman – Campbell County School District 1, Coordinator of Library Professional Development (2013)
  • Kyouhee Choi Berger – Campbell County Public Library System, Reference Services Specialist (2018)
  • Dana Urman – Campbell County Public Library System, Outreach Specialist (2018)
  • Anna Street – Campbell County Public Library System, Circulation Services Manager (2013)
  • Johanna Tuttle – Campbell County Public Library System, Circulation Services Specialist (2015)
  • Darcy Acord – Campbell County Public Library System, Youth Services Librarian (2011)
  • Betsy Moore – Friends of the Albany County Public Library, Volunteer Coordinator (2006 & 2007)
  • Jacque Strike – Sublette County Library, ILL and Periodicals (2015)
  • Maggie Sullivan – Powell Branch Library, ILL and Public Services Manager (2008)
  • Sharon Porter – Library Substitute and Volunteer (2008)
  • Kimberly Heaster – Crook County Library, Sundance Branch Librarian 2018)
  • Tracey Kinnaman – Hot Springs County Library, Director (2004)

Featured in GoWYLD: Science in Context

We’ve been to the moon, now let’s go to Mars! Check out Science in Context in to find articles, website links, headlines, and videos on this and hundreds more of today’s most significant science topics. Whether it’s Mars, the moons of Saturn, or why robots might be tomorrow’s space explorers, you can find it in Science in Context.

Learn more and find resources to promote Science in Context to your patrons.

Libraries should have received their mini-marketing kit by email to promote this resource to patrons. If you would like to be either added to or removed from our monthly email list for the mini-marketing kits, contact Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915.

Free Continuing Education Events for July 29-31

Free, online, continuing education events for July 29-31 from the Wyoming State Library Training Calendar. Descriptions are below. You can subscribe and view the events in your calendar software, or you can find all the events at

All times MDT

Monday, July 29 (12-1 pm)
Developing Financial Literacy in the Next Generation: Resources for Children and Teens (Reference and User Services Association)
At this webinar, Scott Wolla and Mary Suiter from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will provide their expert assistance by sharing the wealth of resources available in the Federal Reserve’s collection of financial education materials. From book lists to activities for youth of all ages, the Federal Reserve offers a wide range of helpful resources to support and inspire library financial literacy initiatives. The webinar will also include time for participants to ask these experts their questions.

Tuesday, July 30 (12-1 pm)
Social Media 102 (Firespring)
In our Social Media 101 webinar, we covered the Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and walked through social media tools. Now it’s time to learn a few advanced social media tips and tricks, elevate your social media presence through micro strategies and activate your advocates.

Tuesday, July 30 (12-1 pm)
We Need to Talk: Great Book-Group Reads for Fall and Beyond (Booklist)
Is your book club in a reading slump? Never fear, because we have some upcoming adult titles that are sure to create lively discussion and get group members wanting more. In this one-hour, free webinar we’ll talk with representatives from Ingram, W.W. Norton & Company, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt about your next group reading assignment.

Tuesday, July 30 (12-1 pm)
Where Do I Go From Here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways (VolunteerMatch)
How long do volunteers usually stay with your program? Do you struggle with keeping them interested, involved and engaged? This webinar will help you think about new strategies and help you evolve your program to include new roles and responsibilities for volunteers, pathways for more involvement and leadership positions in your program, how recognition plays a role in retention, and the importance of including continuing education and professional development to keep your volunteers engaged. Tools to help you evaluate your program implement new ideas will be provided.

Wednesday, July 31 (9-10 am)
How Does Your Library Garden Grow? (Nebraska Library Commission)
Learn how to use nature to nurture the youngest of patrons by identifying letters of the alphabet with nature in an alphabet garden. The presenters will teach the importance of all aspects of nature by transforming the smallest garden into a pollinator garden.

Copyright and Fair Use Resources

Reposted from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Questions about copyright? Not sure what counts as fair use? The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has received a lot of these types of questions recently, and wanted to provide some resources to offer some guidance.

Copyright: General Information

Copyright Crash Course from the University of Texas Libraries – This collection of resources, assembled by UT Librarian Colleen Lyon, provides questions to such topics as “Who Owns What?”, “Fair Use,” and “Getting Permission.” – The website of the U.S. Copyright Office, this website provides government information on law and guidance as well as policy issues.

ALA Copyright Tools – The home of the Exceptions for Instructors eTool also includes the Public Domain Slider and the Section 108 Spinner.

Copyright for Libraries: ALA Resources – This libguide from ALA includes books on copyright information for K-12 librarians and additional resources about copyright.

Fair Use

Fair Use Evaluator – From Michael Brewer and the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, this tool can be useful in determining if a work can be used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Fair Use and Other Educational Uses – From the University of Chicago’s Copyright Information Center, this resource provides a Fair Use Checklist and a rules of thumb for determining if your use can be deemed “fair use.”

Copyright and Education

Copyright for Teachers – From Auburn University, this is a concise overview of copyright law for teachers and instructors.

The Educator’s Guide to Copyright and Fair Use – This five-part series from education world includes a section on district liability and teaching responsibility.

Copyright and Primary Sources – This informative resource from the Library of Congress is structured as an easy to read question and answer format.

Exceptions for Instructors eTool – Provides a way to think about if your intended use follows under educational use of copyrighted material under the U.S. Copyright Code.

Wyoming libraries with copyright and fair use questions are welcome to contact the Wyoming State Library’s intellectual property expert, State Publications Librarian Karen Kitchens, at or (307) 777-7281. You may also wish to take a look at these titles from the WSL collection:

Search our collection for more.

As a reminder, we are not lawyers and cannot provide legal assistance. Please refer to an intellectual property attorney or your library’s legal counsel for legal questions.

AASL Commends Wyoming Reads

Happy kids at the Greybull Branch Library holding up the books they chose at Wyoming Reads 2019.

Wyoming Reads was one of 12 events and programs formally commended by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) for their support of the school librarian profession and the learners the profession serves. Honored programs align with AASL’s “National School Library Standards” and the principles expressed in the association’s mission and value statements.

Wyoming Reads celebrations focus on the joy of reading, highlighted by every first grade student in Wyoming receiving a hardback book with their name printed inside the cover, donated by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. John Jorgensen established the foundation in 1996 and founded the Casper Cares, Casper Reads festival to honor his late wife’s commitment to children and reading. The celebration was expanded statewide as Wyoming Reads in 2006.

Events are held in all 23 counties. During the 2019 celebrations in May, more than 7,500 students received a book to cherish that they picked from this year’s selections.

See the rest of the commended programs.

AASL commended Wyoming Reads and the rest of the programs based on recommendations made by its Affiliate Assembly, which provides a channel of communication between AASL-affiliated school library organizations and the AASL Board of Directors. Affiliates nominate outstanding programs and events for official AASL commendations, which are then reviewed and approved by the AASL Board of Directors.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

Flesher to Direct UW American Heritage Center

Paul Flesher

Reposted from UW News

A longtime University of Wyoming faculty member who founded and directed a key outreach program for more than a decade has been named director of UW’s American Heritage Center (AHC).

Religious studies Professor Paul Flesher will lead UW’s repository of manuscripts collections, rare books and the university archives, which is among the largest nongovernmental archives in the nation. Flesher’s appointment was approved last week by the UW Board of Trustees.

Flesher has been a member of the UW faculty since 1993, when he founded the religious studies program. He managed it for 21 years, during which it became a department, grew its faculty and created a bachelor’s degree. He also established UW’s Saturday University program, which takes UW faculty members across the state to deliver lectures on a variety of topics, and directed it for 11 years.

“We’re delighted that Dr. Flesher, a national and international scholar, has agreed to direct the AHC, a core facility for the state and a hub for international understanding of the West,” Provost Kate Miller says. “Through his Saturday University work, he has established strong connections with museums and archives across Wyoming, and his commitment to serving the state fits nicely with the AHC’s mission.”

A historian of ancient religions — trained at Oxford University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Brown University — Flesher has published three books, edited or co-edited nine collected volumes of essays, and written more than 40 essays and book chapters.

Flesher has worked in archives in Israel, England and the United States. Drawing upon his background in computer programming, he currently leads a project building a searchable, digital archive of archaeological excavation records. He has extensive experience in editing, currently serving as editor-in-chief for a book series with E.J. Brill Publishers of Leiden, The Netherlands, as well as sitting on the boards of three journals.

For 21 years, the Wyoming native wrote a column — “Religion Today,” which discussed world religions — that was published in Wyoming newspapers and other media outlets.

“I see the job of administrator as a way to enhance teaching and create and renew opportunities that further what people can know about today’s world,” Flesher says. “The AHC is an incredible repository of knowledge, and I’m excited to help advance its work within the state and beyond.”

The AHC’s collections focus on Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West and nationally on the topics of environment and conservation; the mining and petroleum industries; air and rail transportation; the performing arts (particularly radio, television, film, and popular music); journalism; U.S. military history; and book history.

Bag of Tricks to Fight Summer Slide

Reposted from Colorado Virtual Library
By Kieran Hixon, Technology & Digital Initiatives Consultant at Colorado State Library

Ah, summer… it is a busy time for libraries! Between the Summer Reading Program and the extra kids utilizing the library, keeping things manageable and running smoothly can be a challenge. I wanted to highlight a few websites that might help keep the younger folks busy when they aren’t making Martian slime, spilling their juice boxes, or whatever else you have designed for your summer reading program.

Fighting summer slide can be fun!

Storyline Online –

Developed by The Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online features accomplished actors and actresses reading some of their favorite children’s books. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Each story comes with a free Activity Guide and can be viewed on YouTube or SchoolTube. Watching Betty White read Harry the Dirty Dog can be fun for kids and adults! While the words do appear Closed Caption style, if you have the book in your collection, having the kids read-along is a great way to help children learning to read.

NeoK12 –

NeoK12 has a lot of videos for kids that are in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The best part is that each of these videos has already been viewed and verified by teachers. There are lots of science videos, lessons, and games on many topics in physical science, the human body, life science, earth and space, and geography. There are also videos about topics in social studies, history, math, and English. In order to have access to all of the resources on NeoK12, you have to purchase a subscription, but there are quite a few free ones.

Loyal Books –

Loyal Books is a free service that provides audiobook and ebook downloads. Before changing its name to Loyal Books, the company was called Books Should Be Free. Because Loyal Books only has audiobooks that are in the public domain, their selection is limited. For kids, think Junior Classics, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Anne of Green Gables, and The Swiss Family Robinson. Audiobooks on Loyal Books are voiced by volunteers, so some are better than others, but of the ones I listened to most were good.

Check these out and let me know what other websites you have for kids in your Bag of Tricks. As we talked about in other parts of this Bag of Tricks series, having resources at your fingertips and a basic familiarity with up-and-coming technology can come in very handy for better serving patrons and can also give you a bit more confidence. While I suggest that you create your own Bag of Tricks, I have an example to get you started at